I'm a safari tart in the best possible sense of the word. I write reviews, books +articles about safari lodges & other gr8 places. Somebody's got to do it!
McGregor Poetry Festival, Ian McCallum, South Africa

McGregor Poetry Festival, Ian McCallum, South Africa

I had the privilege of attending a poetry & piano rehearsal by Ian McCallum and Annie Middleton for the McGregor Poetry Festival. Annie is a dear friend and music teacher with a very creative and joyful way of teaching music. Ian is a most profound poet and author of Ecological Intelligence...
Table Mountain looking moody - Cape Town in winter

Table Mountain looking moody – Cape Town in winter

Table Mountain is in a brooding winter mood but as beautiful as ever. Seen here from Company’s Gardens in the centre of Cape Town CBD, where a vegetable garden based on the original design in the first Cape Colony of 1658, is full of bounty. I was wondering who gets...
Stocking the Cellars at Singita - isn’t all that it seems……

Stocking the Cellars at Singita – isn’t all that it seems……

  Can you imagine your own personal wine preferences influencing Singita’s bidding at the Cape Winemakers Guild Auction?  It happens! If a regular guest of Singita safari lodges loves particular wines of a proven rarity and provenance, then Singita will buy it for you and have it transported across Africa...
Zambia's President Visits Tujatane School at Tongabezi, Victoria Falls, Zambia

Zambia’s President Visits Tujatane School at Tongabezi, Victoria Falls, Zambia

                        Tujatane School at Tongabezi Lodge on the banks of the Zambezi upstream from Victoria Falls in Zambia, is a heartwarming story of success and I’ve followed its progress since my first visit about 15 years ago. Initiated by...
One&Only Cape Town Guest Speakers 2015 - nature warriors worth listening to

One&Only Cape Town Guest Speakers 2015 – nature warriors worth listening to

Here’s something different to do this Cape Town winter….go and enjoy a talk by some of the brilliant line up of guest speakers at the One&Only Hotel and chat to them afterwards during a slap up meal. I went last year to Chris Fallows’ illustrated talk on Great White Shark...
Zarafa Camp, Botswana - elephant visit

Zarafa Camp, Botswana – elephant visit

Zarafa Camp in the Selinda of Botwana – could this be the ‘Perfect’ Safari Camp? Quite possibly by what I’ve heard…and if pictures speak a thousand words, I’m not going to bother writing any more until I’ve been.
De Hoop Nature Reserve - whales galore!

De Hoop Nature Reserve – whales galore!

August 2014: I was told there were about 600 Southern Right Whales in the bay at De Hoop Nature Reserve, about 4 hours drive east along the coast from Cape Town. I thought they’d added another naught by mistake and meant 60. But they hadn’t! An informal aerial survey showed...
Ebola in Africa - you can still come on safari to southern and east Africa

Ebola in Africa – you can still come on safari to southern and east Africa

Ebola is a terrifying virus, but what you need to know is that the nearest case of Ebola is +-3,000 miles/5,000 kilometres from any of the safari areas mentioned on this blog. That’s about the same distance from West Africa to Berlin or Rio de Janeiro. This means you can...
Tree-climbing goats - Namibia

Tree-climbing goats – Namibia

When there’s nothing nice to eat on the ground these goats in Nambia take to the trees. I’ve never seen anything like it! Have you?
Halo Gaia Liquid Body Retreat in Mozambique

Halo Gaia Liquid Body Retreat in Mozambique

Enter the Liquid Body and reconnect with your deep sensuality in the company of wild dolphins. This weekend workshop on the coast of southern Mozambique is facilitated through Halo Gaia by the mermaid Courtney Ward (when you read my blog post Dancing With Dolphins you’ll know what I mean) and...
Zambezi Queen luxury houseboat on the Chobe

Zambezi Queen luxury houseboat on the Chobe

The Zambezi Queen is a 5-star triple-decker houseboat providing possibly the best way to go on safari that has been invented! She floats in a watery no-man’s land with Namibia on one bank and Botswana’s Chobe National Park on the other. With an estimated 160,000 elephant in Chobe (approximately half the world’s...
Farewell Nelson Mandela

Farewell Nelson Mandela

It is with the greatest sorrow in my heart that I pay tribute to Nelson Mandela – a man I was lucky enough to meet and in whose light I bathed for a few moments; i felt his embrace, i kissed his lips. I felt his strength and compassion and...
How not to fell a baobab tree, Mozambique

How not to fell a baobab tree, Mozambique

Tragic that this ancient baobab should be felled and at what point did it give way….look closely:
Samara Cheetah Cub rescued

Samara Cheetah Cub rescued

                          Friday the 14th June 2013: a tiny little cheetah cub was born to Bellini, one of the wild cheetah’s at Samara.   None of her previous cubs have survived.   She hid the cub under a bush...
Breakfast with Giraffe

Breakfast with Giraffe

Anyone for breakfast with giraffe? It’s a daily occurrence at Giraffe Manor outside Nairobi in Kenya. There you are in your bedroom and next thing a giraffe’s face is at your window. At breakfast they reach in for some pellets from the breakfast table. I remember opening the front door...
Camping & Glamping is big in 2013

Camping & Glamping is big in 2013

Are you a Camper or Glamper? The former is you, your tent and whatever you bring along to make things more comfortable. The latter is you pretending you’re camping but really someone else has pitched the tent for you (or it is semi-permanent luxury room that happens to have canvas...
Top 5 weird, wonderful, and just plain kooky hotel requests in 2012

Top 5 weird, wonderful, and just plain kooky hotel requests in 2012

This is a the Top 5 strangest requests made on Protea Hotel’s staff in 2012. A burly guest insisted on being sung to as it was the only sure cure for his insomnia. It worked! A Cape Town GM had to go out at 8pm in search of goldfish for...
Footprint Quiz

Footprint Quiz

Who made this print in the wet sand at Phinda Private Game Reserve in KZN? That’s what the Head Ranger at Forest Lodge asked me after he heard I had been to more than 200 safari lodges? He reckoned I must have been on enough game drives to be able...
Kaingo Camp, South Luangwa, Zambia

Kaingo Camp, South Luangwa, Zambia

I have been invited to Shenton Safaris camps in the wild South Luangwa Valley of Zambia and these pics make me want to pack my bag right now!  This is real wild Africa, much more earthy and spontaneous than a safari in South Africa with lots of animal thrills to...
Mumbo Island ranked in Top 100 Hotels in World - read what I think...

Mumbo Island ranked in Top 100 Hotels in World – read what I think…

                            Is Mumbo Island one of my Top 100 places to go in the world…..YES absolutely! People often ask me where is the best place I have been and when reeling off my personal favourites Mumbo Island is...
Safari pics that make you want to be there!

Safari pics that make you want to be there!

When I look at these photographs, I want to be there right now – don’t  you? See link on each photo to find out where it is.                      
Sibuya Game Lodge, nr Port Elizabeth

Sibuya Game Lodge, nr Port Elizabeth

  This privately owned reserve up the Kariega River from Kenton-on-Sea in the Eastern Cape is the Garden of Eden. It has all the components of nature that make you want to weep at its beauty, marvel at the perfect animal specimens all fat and glossy coats, and sink into the sophoric rhythm...
Abu Camp, Okavango - new baby elephant

Abu Camp, Okavango – new baby elephant

IT’S A GIRL! Abu Camp, best known as one of the first elephant back riding safari lodges, deep in the Okavango Delta, has had a new arrival. Shireni, one of the Camp’s leading matriach’s, gave birth to her third living calf at ten in the evening on 17 December 2011. Measuring approximately 90cm...
India House, Bains Kloof Pass, nr Cape Town

India House, Bains Kloof Pass, nr Cape Town

I love it when I find a real gem of a place when I least expect it. That is what happened at India House. I went to assess Bastiaanskloof for star grading and found that part of their accommodation was a divine villa called India House in the middle of...
UGANDA; Gorillas, Chimps  & tree-climbing Lions

UGANDA; Gorillas, Chimps & tree-climbing Lions

                    Uganda doesn’t get talked about that much when it comes to safari and most people don’t even know it’s got much more than gorillas. In a country the size of UK, there’s so much more……. including: a whopping 1000 species...
Dancing With Dolphins in Mozambique

Dancing With Dolphins in Mozambique

Courtney Ward has been “dancing with dolphins” for ten years in the warm waters of southern Mozambique at Ponta Malongane. People say she is part dolphin and you can believe it when you see her gliding through the water like a mermaid with her mono-fin.   Dolphins crowd around her...
Elephant drinks from pool at Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge, Madikwe

Elephant drinks from pool at Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge, Madikwe

Guests at Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge had a surprise visit from an opportunistic elephant, who simply couldn’t resist the cool, crystal clear, swimming pool water on a hot spring day in Madikwe Game Reserve.    Photographed by 18 year old Tom Rudolphie of The Netherlands.  Buffalo Ridge is a community...
Samara Private Game Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Samara Private Game Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa

I have been going on safari in Africa every year for 15 years, yet it was at Samara Private Game Reserve, in the middle of nowhere in the Graaff-Reinet Karoo, that I found the possibility of two elements of a safari that had so far eluded me; a yoga mat and...
Southern Africa Yoga Safaris

Southern Africa Yoga Safaris

In a hidden location amongst giant sandstone rocks on the West Coast of South Africa near Eland’s Bay, Southern African Yoga Safaris makes use of a rocky retreat for a getaway with a difference. While doing your ‘Salute to the Sun’ or Tree Posture, you stare out and may meet...
Leopard vs Mouse

Leopard vs Mouse

These extraordinary leopard pictures were captured by photography student Casey Gutteridge at the Santago Rare Leopard Project in Hertfordshire. Copyright of http://solentnews.biz/.  Seemingly unaware of the beast, the mouse diced with death when it tucked into the leopard’s lunch. The mischievous rodent grabbed at scraps of meat thrown into the...
Eco-friendly Safaris in SA; Garonga, Jaci's, Ant's Nest

Eco-friendly Safaris in SA; Garonga, Jaci’s, Ant’s Nest

Here’s some news about eco-friendly safari camps and ‘green’ safari lodges that go the extra mile take care of the environment: Garonga Safari Camp Garonga Safari Camp in the Makalali Reserve (not too far from Kruger National Park) ensures that all rubbish is separated and foodstuffs are used for warthogs...
Tuningi Safari Lodge, Madikwe, RSA

Tuningi Safari Lodge, Madikwe, RSA

Look who joined the afternoon picnic at Tuningi Safari lodge!   These curious young lions came to investigate as guests from Tuningi Safari Lodge enjoyed their sundowner game drive drinks & snacks in the Madikwe Game Reserve. 
Bushman's Kloof Wilderness Reserve

Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve

‘Number One Hotel in the World’ according to 2009 US Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards reader’s survey. What an accolade!  This 5-star wilderness resort in the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains is one of my favourite places with a landscape like no other only 270km from Cape Town.
Garden Route Game Lodge great 'soft' safari, Western Cape

Garden Route Game Lodge great ‘soft’ safari, Western Cape

I was really impressed with Garden Route Game Lodge.  It is of course ‘soft safari’, as are all the game reserves in the Western Cape.  It is because this populated region doesn’t have tracts of spare land the size of small European countries - like Kruger Park - in which the largest...
Tortoise Adopts Hippo

Tortoise Adopts Hippo

When this baby hippo losts its mother, it found the next best thing, a giant tortoise.  Nicknamed Owen, weighing around 300 kg  (650 pounds), this little hippo was swept down the Sabaki River to the Indian Ocean, then washed back ashore by tsunami waves that struck the Kenyan coast on...
Singita Lebombo Safari Lodge

Singita Lebombo Safari Lodge

I wouldn’t mind going to Heaven if it was like Singita Lebombo. I have been here once before (Lebombo, not Heaven) but this visit had a more profound effect on me. The subtle change in décor, from touches of lime green and grey among a sea of white, to a...
Safari Tart meets Tutu & Mandela

Safari Tart meets Tutu & Mandela

I arrived in Africa from London in 1995 and in that time I’ve been lucky enough to meet two great icons of world history; Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. Both are my heroes whom I hold in the very highest regard above all others. It was never my goal to meet them, I...
Elephants march through Mfuwe Lodge

Elephants march through Mfuwe Lodge

  The 18-room Mfuwe Lodge has a large reception area particularly suited to wandering elephants. Their favourite mango trees are just on the other side of the building and they see no reason why they shouldn’t take the direct route straight through the lodge! 
Makanyane Safari Lodge

Makanyane Safari Lodge

My first introduction to Makanyane Safari Lodge was a face to face meeting with an elephant at the door of my cottage. “I’ll just go and shoo him away, said the lodge manager, Garth Kew. So he walked towards said elephant and shouted “Shoo!”  Elephant ignored him, so Garth ran...
Lion Eats Car

Lion Eats Car

  If you ever thought lions look like large pussy cats, take a look at these photos taken by a holidaymaker in the Krugersdorp area of South Africa.
Lion Sands Ivory Lodge

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge

You may think that a safari lodge decorated in no other colours than black and white (and variations from rich creams to deep brown), could be monotone. But it’s not. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge in the Lion Sands Private Game Reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park, uses shades and textures...
Twyfelfontein Country Lodge & Opuwo Country Hotel

Twyfelfontein Country Lodge & Opuwo Country Hotel

Damaraland, Namibia Not many places make your jaw drop in amazement, or make you want to utter a lazily drawn-out expletive, because no other suitable word comes to mind. But Twyfelfontein Country Lodge did just that. This immense thatched lodge, in the heart of red-rock country in the middle of...
Royal Malewane, Thornybush Reserve

Royal Malewane, Thornybush Reserve

When people mention Royal Malewane, they use the kind of hushed tones often reserved for someone held in high regard. This is because Royal Malewane seems to have effortlessly created a safari lodge at the pinnacle of taste, within the boundaries of timeless, classic elegance. Simply put, it epitomizes all...
Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe

Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe

“Can you come to Lake Kariba on Thursday for a week?”, said a friendly voice. “I know it’s Monday today but I have space for one more person on my houseboat going down the length of Lake Kariba.” My initial reaction was that I couldn’t get organised in three days,...
Hippo Lodge, Kafue National Park, Zambia - The Cherry on the Safari Cake

Hippo Lodge, Kafue National Park, Zambia – The Cherry on the Safari Cake

  Just when I thought life on safari couldn’t get any better, it did. It was my birthday and I was sitting in a bubbling hot spring on the edge of the Kafue River in Zambia. Fireflies were dancing around my head and a fellow journalist on this press trip...
Plains Camp, Platforms Sleepout and Rhino Post Lodge: walking & 4x4

Plains Camp, Platforms Sleepout and Rhino Post Lodge: walking & 4×4

On a private concession inside Kruger National Park…. Rhino Walking Safaris have, in my opinion, got it right. They have a variety of safari experiences in their three accommodation options; Rhino Post Lodge, Plains Camp and Platforms – a multi-level large wooden sleepout platform in the middle of nowhere, where...
Horseriding in Okavango Delta

Horseriding in Okavango Delta

  This is no ordinary horse ride! Novice riders need not apply; experience and a high level of in-the-saddle competence is a pre-requisite for this adventure with African Horseback Safaris. You have to handle horses that are fit and raring-to-go, as well possible encounters with big game of the Okavango Delta like...
Latest entries
Kenya's Irresistible Allure

Kenya’s Irresistible Allure

Kenya was the first African country I visited and it utterly charmed me. Here are some of the reasons why….                                                 What do you love most about Kenya? The great wildebeest migration...
World Elephant Day - 5 Exceptional Elephant Photos by Roy Terlien

World Elephant Day – 5 Exceptional Elephant Photos by Roy Terlien

In homage to World Elephant Day here are some previously unpublished photos of elephants by the brilliant photographer Roy Terlien, who happens to live around the corner from me. I’ll let his elephant photo-essay speak for itself….except to say that Roy has just come 2nd in the Sony World Photography Awards (the world’s largest photography...
Top 12 Best Boat Trips in Southern Africa

Top 12 Best Boat Trips in Southern Africa

I was asked by the Editor of Travel Africa Magazine for a list of boat trips I had done for a possible article. A memory of each one came flooding back (excuse the pun) and I can’t believe how much time I’ve spent on or in waters inhabited by crocs, hippos, sharks and other creatures of...
Top 10 Safari Thrills

Top 10 Safari Thrills

Read my recent blog post for the Chic Collection - my  Top 10 Safari Thrills. They are: The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth; Wildebeest Migration from Tanzania’s Serengeti to Kenya’s Masai Mara Look in the eye of a Leopard; best place to do this is in the Sabi Sand Reserve in Greater Kruger area Sleepout in...
Natures Best Photography Africa 2015 Awards for Wildlife Photography

Natures Best Photography Africa 2015 Awards for Wildlife Photography

What makes a good wildlife photograph and what are the differentiating degrees of excellence among the very best? Nature’s Best Photography Africa have tried to answer these subjective questions through their choices in the 2015 Awards. There is also the question as to whether wildlife photography can be art and Lou Coetzer, Director of Nature’s Best Photography...
Great White Shark vs Surfer, Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa

Great White Shark vs Surfer, Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa

When I went on an Apex Shark Expeditions shark-watching boat into Cape Town’s False Bay, it was pointed out and I saw quite clearly that when the big Great White sharks pull in, the smaller ones make themselves scarce. Perhaps when Mick Fanning encountered a Great White in the waters of Jeffrey’s Bay during the final...
Serengeti-Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration Herd Tracker

Serengeti-Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration Herd Tracker

I’ve just come across the most wonderful way to find out where the wildebeest are in the annual migration around Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara. HerdTracker is the brainwave of Carel Verhoef and started it in January 2014. Carel is a qualified safari guide and has lived in Tanzania for ten years but seems to...
AVANI Pemba Beach Hotel & Spa, Mozambique

AVANI Pemba Beach Hotel & Spa, Mozambique

Mercy me! The lovely Mercy at Avani Pemba Beach Hotel & Spa gave me the best back massage I’ve ever had – nice and firm, working those knots and leaving me wondering how I can transport Mercy to Cape Town, where I live. Afterwards I padded along to the jacuzzi where fellow journalists on this...
Lion Kills Tourist

Lion Kills Tourist

                                                    “Keep your windows closed” is the instruction on a big sign at the entrance to The Lion Park situated 30km (19 miles) north of Johannesburg. Ignoring this created the...
Anantara Medjumbe, Mozambique - paradise desert island

Anantara Medjumbe, Mozambique – paradise desert island

Medjumbe comes top of my list right now for a bush and beach holiday combining South Africa safari with its Mozambique neighbour for a desert island dream ending.                               The form to fill in before having a spa treatment at Anantara Medjumbe...
Italian fix at the Michelangelo in Johannesburg

Italian fix at the Michelangelo in Johannesburg

  Florence was calling me – a wedding in the Tuscan countryside and a beeline to see Michelangelo’s David who is threatening to topple off his plinth because of weak ankles and earth tremors. I’ve got my own David, who alas does not remain ever youthful, nor maintains a physique worth flaunting! But the universe...
Finding Renaissance; DaVinci Hotel, Johannesburg

Finding Renaissance; DaVinci Hotel, Johannesburg

Forces beyond my understanding have been leading me towards a Renaissance in which Da Vinci keeps making an appearance. Firstly I visited the internationally roving Da Vinci exhibition at the Chavonne Battery Museum in Cape Town, where Mona Lisa was revealed as she would have looked in 1505. All thanks to a 250 million pixel...